Adversity is an interesting word and in my opinion can be taken two different ways:
You think its the end of the world, the situation you are in cannot get any worse and you dwell on what’s happening, you find it very hard to move on.
You take this situation as a challenge, no matter what you’re faced with, you make it your mission to over come it.
In the September, 2015 I was given some interesting news...my job was being made redundant. At age 24, having recently bought a house and had my first child I knew this was going to be a challenging time.
After my first consultation meeting I was determined and motivated to make it an opportunity and come out a better, stronger person. I’ll be honest, I was scared, getting told you have an end date (30 days) on your main source of income is daunting...but not the end of the world!
That night I put a plan of action together, a time line of things I wanted to achieve during this chapter of my life. My main goals (in order):
• Network (drink lots of coffee) with colleagues/companies/recruiters;
• Update my CV and get advice;
• Spend time with my family;
• Contact companies I wanted to work for;
• Apply for jobs in my preferred location.
I was determined not to take a step back in my career. This kept me motivated to find a role that was challenging and motivating. The first 15 days I focused on roles in Aberdeen, roles were available but few and far between (especially for what I was after). It would have been easier to take a step down and in fact opportunities were offered to me but the role wasn’t what I wanted.
After having a few interviews in Aberdeen I wasn’t getting very far, I made the tough decision to look else where (Edinburgh, Glasgow and London). This opened my door to a lot more opportunities and companies.
It can be very de-motivating when you have days with no leads, getting that bad news phone call or hearing nothing at all. Keep trying, keep motivated and you’ll succeed.
4 weeks after hearing the news I managed to get that challenging and motivating role I went out to look for, working in the public sector down in Edinburgh will open more doors and give me that experience I wanted.
I have a lot of friends and connections that have had this unsettling news, I want to give you a few take home points to keep you motivated:
Stop hamster wheeling around in your head the bad news and the rejections you will ultimately face when applying for jobs.
Network the hell out of your network. LinkedIn has been priceless for me, getting my name and skill set out there allowed me to connect with the right people and spread the word.
Face to Face...offer to go and visit recruiters and businesses. This beats the standard phone calls and will let them know you’re serious. I lost count at how many times I drove down to Edinburgh for that 1 hour interview or coffee.
Write down your plan of action. How are you going to get out this situation? What are going to do to get that dream job? Plan your day.
You shouldn’t be ashamed, you haven’t failed and you’re not alone, 10,000 people have lost their jobs in the Oil and Gas sector since 2013.
Stay motivated, use this opportunity to find a new and exciting role, this is a new chapter in your life and you have control.
I hope this article helps some people. If anybody in my network wants some more advice, have a coffee or catch-up then get in touch. This time of your life will be tough, it won’t be an easy ride, but stay positive and you’ll succeed.
• Neil Greenhorn is an IT Project Manager with Lockheed Martin